First Edition of Thomas Wolfe's Of Time and the River
Of Time and the River: A Legend of Hunger in Man’s Youth.
Item Number: 99637
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935.
First edition with the Scribners A on the copyright page of the sequel to Look Homeward, Angel. Octavo, original cloth. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket.
“On the night of the 14th of December , at about half-past eleven, Wolfe arrived customarily late for his appointment with [editor Max] Perkins… [and] unloaded a heavy bundle on his editor’s desk. It was wrapped in brown paper, twice tied with string, and stood two feet high. Perkins opened it and found it packed with typescript—more than 3000 rough-draft pages, the first part of the novel. The sheets, all different kinds of paper, were not consecutively numbered, since the sections had not been consecutively written… ‘You have often said that if I ever gave you something that you could get your hands on and weigh in its entirety from beginning to end, you could pitch in and help me to get out of the woods,’ Wolfe wrote Perkins the following day. ‘Well now here is your chance… I don’t envy you the job before you” (Berg, Max Perkins, 235). Thus the editing of Wolfe’s Of Time and the River began. Upon its highly-anticipated publication two years later, the New York Times called the novel “a magnificent epic of American life” and Malcolm Crowley named Thomas Wolfe “the only contemporary American writer who can be mentioned in the same breath with Dickens and Dostoevsky” (New Republic).